Tag Archives: family

How to prepare for life as new parent with a Disability.

Parenting is never easy, but having long term illness or disabilty can make it even more challenging. This inspirational couple have used their own experiences to help others in their position.

Ashley Taylor is a disabled mother of two wonderful, amazing, energetic children. She met her husband, Tom, while doing physical therapy. Tom had suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Ashley and Tom knew they wanted children and knew they would have to adapt their lives and home in order to make this dream come true. Ashley is happy to say that they are the proud parents of two healthy, wonderful children and their disabilities haven’t stopped them from leading a happy, fulfilling life. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities.

Having a disability doesn’t mean you need to live your life with limitations — that includes the desire to have children. Rather, it’s about making the necessary modifications to your home and lifestyle in order to create a safe and stress-free environment for you and your family. With careful planning and being aware of available resources, raising a child while taking care of your health doesn’t have to feel like an overwhelming experience.

Make Home Modifications

Modifying your home to meet the needs of an ability as well as a child can be expensive, but there are plenty of grants available that can help fund crucial changes. Many resources specialize in everything from vertical stair lifts and wheelchair ramps to bed and bathroom safety bars to speciality doorknobs and handles. These modifications are crucial for the safety and mental health of the disabled parent, as well as any children living under the same roof. Note that if you rent versus own, it’s the responsibility of the landlord (by law) to make the necessary modifications to your residence.

Eliminate Clutter

Clutter equates to stress and confusion, neither of which you need as a new parent with a disability. Make it a point to do inventory and organize your home before the child comes into the equation — instituting help if need be. There are specialists that can assist in areas of sorting, organization and personal planning.

Get Help

Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Look into personal assistance services (PAS), a support group for more than 13.2 million people with disabilities. PAS supporters help with everything from eating and bathing to shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Family, friends, and neighbors likely fall into an unpaid category, while formal services are typically handled by public funding, private insurance, or out-of pocket-costs. Again, utilizing free resources (outside of family and friends) should not be overlooked; it’s your right by law to receive assistance.

Self-Care To Manage Stress And Depression

Having a disability comes with its share of stress — as does being a new parent figuring out the ropes. Combine the two and you have the potential for an overwhelming situation that can lead to depression. Despite the laundry list of responsibilities you have on your plate, self-care should be a priority to cope with stress. This includes maintaining hobbies, interests, and friendships; delegating tasks; maintaining physical fitness; and acceptance — nobody is perfect. source

There are also several free resources available to parents with disabilities that offer a comprehensive overview of qualified community organizations, social service agencies, and healthcare providers.

Keep Emergency Numbers On Hand

You shouldn’t have to wait for a crisis before figuring out where you can obtain aid. Every parent should keep a list of go-to numbers to deal with situations such as accidental poisoning, childcare advice, depression, medical assistance, natural disasters, and more.

Utilize Available Resources

From transportation and employment assistance to educational and recreational opportunities, there are many resources available if you have a disability. It’s your right to receive such assistance, so don’t be afraid to utilize it. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your doctor or other medical advisor for credible resources in your area. source

Perhaps the most important message to understand as a parent with a disability is that there are several resources available to help you out that don’t include friends and family — thought it’s great if you have that network, too. Living your best personal life while being a parent and role model at the same time is a true reality. Remember that being a parent is among one of the best gifts in life, so practice acts of gratitude when you’re feeling overwhelmed. source

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Could you homeschool your children?

A few years ago I had to homeschool my daughter. It was a real steep learning curve for us both, but also a really fun valuable thing to do. When Maria offered me this guest blog I jumped at the chance to feature it, hoping it could provide encouragement to others. So first a bit about Maria.

Maria is part of the community outreach team at Edu Aid. Maria spent over 15 years as a primary school teacher before homeschooling her own children for a number of years. Maria is passionate about ongoing education at all ages, and when isn’t learning new things is a keen walker and cyclist and can be found exploring.

As a parent you may be thinking of tutoring your own child. You might want to tutor your child in a specific subject (such as Math or English) because your child is battling in this subject area. Alternatively you may wish to homeschool your child. You might worry that by tutoring your child you will be changing your relationship with him or her. You may feel anxious about taking on a new role. You may ask yourself how you find the key to successfully tutoring your own children?

Don’t be afraid of taking on the role
Marina Koestler, in her book on tutoring, shares that parents are a child’s best tutor. As a parent you have always showed your child how to cope or manage new tasks. You showed your child how to tie a shoelace, and how to dress or bathe. You probably played board games which involved counting, read to your child or listened to his or her stories. You may have checked homework or assisted your child with cooking. Many of these tasks were enjoyable for both of you and often inspired your child to make progress. It is because of this that Koestler declares that a parent is the very best tutor a child can have.

Prepare a space for tutoring
By creating a set environment which is cool, quiet and comfortable, your children will be able to work without distraction. Try to keep all of your tutoring supplies in one place where your children have easy access. If you will be tutoring more than one child, your goal is to give each child individual attention. Create a space where you can move easily from one child to the next.

Allow your children to guide you
Koestler shares that parents may feel anxious about tutoring because they might not feel knowledgeable in an area of study. However, she explains that the role of tutor is one of facilitator rather than one of teacher. By allowing your child to ask questions, explore answers and search for new information or insights, you will enable them to think, learn, grow, read and explore. All of these skills will offer a great learning opportunity where your children are guided by their own innate curiosity.

Have fun
Maths Insider shares that by having fun with your child, encouraging role playing or offering up exciting rewards, you will make learning an enjoyable process for your child. You can offer up activities such as dividing a cake or finger painting spots on a page (and then adding or multiplying them to find an answer). Older children could act out roles in history books or works of literature in order to explore multiple perspectives. By making learning fun you’ll teach your children that challenges do not have to be approached with fear or anxiety.

Focus on your children’s individual needs

As a tutor, you are able to give your child individual attention. While providing tips for tutoring, The School Run gave an example of a parent who taught a child to trust her own answers and move on. By focusing on decisiveness the child was able to complete her exams on time. Each child will have areas of individual struggle. Some children fear getting an answer wrong, while others rush through the work and make careless mistakes. Listening to your child’s fears or anxieties while patiently guiding new options will assist your child to achieve great results.

Parents are always going to be great tutors to their children. Children trust and look up to their parents and have been learning from them all their lives.

As a parent you’re in a perfect position to guide or tutor your child. Working with patience and empathy will assist your child to develop curiosity, confidence and an enjoyment of learning.

How can NCS help your teen?

My son Josh really enjoyed taking part in the National Citizen Service course, so when we were approached to help reach other parents about NCS, we were really keen to be involved.

So what is National Citizen Service?

“NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.”

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.
My eldest son Josh was invited to take part via a presentation at his school, back in 2016. He came home really keen to take part so we signed him up asap. He finished the term early that year, as he had just finished his GCSE exams so it was a good time for him to sign up. NCS is amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.

As a family we often take holidays together and visit family both in the UK and abroad. We wondered how three weeks of NCS would fit into this. Thankfully there was a big choice of dates so we could choose one that worked for us.
Though NCS he would meet, and work with others from different backgrounds and cultures which as a diverse, multilingual family ourselves we hold as very important.

So over to Josh to describe his experience of NCS.
I really enjoyed my experience of NCS. On the first part of NCS which was in the Mendip hills I got to know and bond with my group. We all came from different backgrounds which helped create a unique and fun experience together. On the residential trip in which we stayed in university style accommodation we were set a budget and had to purchase all our ingredients for the whole week which helped teach us important skills such as budgeting, cooking, teamwork as we had to work together to prepare our meals. These skills will help us in the future and help others.
As part of the community project as a group we designed a dragon’s den style pitch to persuade “investors” (People choosing who the best project is and who to give more money for their community project. This helped me build my confidence and public speaking skills as my group leader helped the group design and practice the pitch.


For the community project, we provided an afternoon tea and food in a place which supports people affected by drug and alcohol addiction. We also painted a mural for them so that we could show our support. The afternoon was enjoyed by all people there and our whole group was proud of what we had done together and how we had helped other people.
On the residential trip, in which we stayed in university style accommodation, we were set a budget and had to purchase all our ingredients for the whole week which helped teach us important skills such as budgeting, cooking, teamwork as we had to work together to prepare our meals. These skills will help us in the future and help others.
During the residential time, my team was given a skill to learn with a mentor. My team was given Photography to learn. I really enjoyed learning this as I take photographs as a hobby anyway. Each team was given a different skill to learn which gives a wide range of skills that were being taught. We took photos together across the town and presented them to families who came along on the last day.
There were over 100,000 teenagers on NCS over the whole summer, this means that a lot of new friendships will have been made, new skills developed and the opportunity to develop a community. It was very enjoyable, and I also had an amazing time. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again.

Josh came back form each section excited about the new experiences he had had and friendships he had made. (I think the main aim of the outdoor team building for the teens was to find which corner of the site had internet reception!) He came away from the residential section with increased confidence in his meal planning and cooking skills, which I consider really important life skills. In the social action project the teens were engaged in helping those in society they may never have worked with before, In the initial team building phase he was able to take part in some outdoor activities he had not done before, as well as making lots of friends.

11th September 2016
NCS Graduation @ Athena, Leicester, UK
© Tom Horton
www.tom-horton.co.uk

As well as a fun experience NCS was set up with a purpose in mind.
By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens
NCS was established to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society
As Josh said, “It was very enjoyable, and I also had an amazing time. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up again” So what are you waiting for?

There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer.

To sign up now, go to the NCS website. use this link:

http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/?utm_source=blogger&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=summer18


This is a sponsored post.

These are our own thoughts on the NCS scheme. Some of the facts about NCS are taken directly from their promotional material.
The photographs were provided by the post sponsor.

I’m a little teapot -singing fun

Back in October, we took on the crazy task of translation of 36 English nursery rhymes into singable German versions. As we attempted it, we realised why they had not been translated before. After all the work it took us we’d love the translations to be used.

First up is one I love the actions to. I remember singing it myself as a little girl so here goes… I’m a little teapot.

I’m a little teapot

I’m a little teapot, Short and stout
Here is my handle, Here is my spout

When I get all steamed up, I just shout
Tip me over and pour me out

I’m a very special pot. It’s true
Here’s an example of what I can do

I can turn my handle into a spout
Tip me over and pour me out

I’m a little teapot, Short and stout
Here is my handle, Here is my spout

When I get all steamed up, I just shout
Tip me over and pour me out

Ich bin ‘ne kleine Kanne, klein und rund
Hier ist mein Griff, und hier ist mein Mund

Fang ich an zu dampfen, hör mich schrein
Schütt mich aus, gieß den Tee ein

Ich bin ‘ne kluge Kanne, ja und dann
Werd’ ich dir zeigen was ich kann.

Ich dreh mich im Kreis und das ist fein
Schütt mich aus, gieß den Tee ein

Ich bin ‘ne kleine Kanne, klein und rund
Hier ist mein Griff, und hier ist mein Mund

Fang ich an zu dampfen, hör mich schrein
Schütt mich aus, gieß den Tee ein

After all that talk of tea, I’m putting the kettle on.

So, what do you think? I’d love to see a video of your family or German class singing along to it.

The weird and wonderful English Language Giveaway

Apologies for the radio silence recently. We’ve had a really busy time as a family.

We’ve still been playing languages at home.

This morning I woke my teen asking him what he would like for breakfast in French. He answered “I can hear you but I can’t French right now”

I asked my daughter “Tu veux combien de Croissants?”  She answered “deux”

The current government obsession with spag (Spelling and Grammar) means my girls are coming home with puzzling work sheets (What on earth is a fronted adverbial?) Even us adults puzzle over it. English spelling is odd and the reason is that English is such a mix of other languages. It is crazy that English spelling is taught in schools using phonics. English is the least phonetic language there is. This is mostly because of the invasions and settlers from other countries who introduced words of their language.

 

A few months back a linguist friend mentioned to us about the Stephen Fry and the Fry’s Planet World series. As well as loving languages we also love linguistics finding out how languages evolve and keep on evolving. This

 

We’ve a copy of Fry’s planet world to giveaway so you can enjoy it too. Simply enter via the rafflecopter link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Multilingual Parenting Masterclass

We’ve been trying to set up an interview with Tetsu for far too long. Maik and Tetsu finally got together after Tetsu’s talk at the Polyglot Conference in Iceland in October.

We have very different styles of teaching but the same aims for our families.  Grab a coffee and have a listen to their chat.

Tetsu, What are your aims and aspirations in raising multilingual children?

My aim is to give them the world.

I want to arm them with an undeniable advantage in the most important skill to develop in their lives: communication. This skill alone will allow them to make more friends, have better career prospects and even lead better family lives. Simply by having languages and cultural understanding with respect to languages, starting early leads to much better results for the same amount of investment in resources, they will already be miles ahead of peers who do not have these when communicating with others. And I firmly believe that teaching them early will be the most effective way to go about it. Most other types of skills and knowledge can be learned to similar levels later in life.

Want to find out more about Tetsu? Check out these links.

www.multilinguannaire.com

His book Pampers to Polyglot: 7 Ideas For Raising Multilinguals Like Me is available via his Facebook page

www.facebook.com/PampersToPolyglot

My YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnsvVbHGlecAQktAXzhMH2ZUtSr-kldaT

So, what  are your thoughts? We’d love to hear what works for you in the comments.

Inspirational Italian mummy Giulia

This month’s inspirational mum is Giulia Giaco from thenyoucamealong.com

I’ll let her introduce herself.

I am a woman of mid-30’s from Italy. I’ve changed my life many times in the past 6 years, from Law in Italy, to HR  and Hospitality manager in Vancouver and now mother in Sydney.

 

Could you tell us how you learned languages with your parents and in school

Honestly, in Italy, English is rarely taught well. To learn a language it is very important to have bi-lingual or native english speaker teacher, and we don’t always get that. Normally they teach literature or grammar using boring books. Instead, with my parents we often played games… “If I see an apple what am I seeing?” “Una mela!”. Songs were also very useful. The curiosity of understanding their meaning forced us to search for translations, so my entire generation probably needs to thank Take That and the Backstreet Boys for helping us improve our English.

 

So how did you meet your husband?

At that time I was sharing my apartment with other roommates, one of whom was a Spanish guy that was playing for a local soccer team in Vancouver. After a couple of weeks he invited my girlfriends and I to a soccer party….This funny Australian guy was there!! We spoke for an hour, or better he spoke and I was pretending to understand his terrible mumble and lazy accent (I always make fun of him for not being a native English speaker). We started to text each other, and after a month I had the first phone conversation with him. It was not really successful as we didn’t understand each other and we ended up chasing each other through various Subway stops.

Language barriers are sometimes funny, but can also just create massive misunderstandings. We still laugh about a couple of fights that started simply through miscommunication.

Sean and I we got married in July 2016 in a beautiful small church in Italy, surrounded by our multi-cultural group of friends and family, with everyone trying to communicate with the help of translators, body language and big smiles.

 

What do you love to do in your spare time?

I love cooking, just Italian of course, and hosting people in my house. I love making fun of the accent of my Aussie husband, probably as much as he enjoys making fun of my strong Italian one. I believe that my husband is an amazing designer, but I’m better at telling him what he likes haha. I love every single moment of creating these posters; from drawing them with Sean on the sofa to printing the final poster.

Our pregnancy is captured in this poster and in the name of the website, it is a box of memory for me.

 

Could you tell us a bit about the product your husband and you have developed.

What is it and why did you develop it?

 

We have developed a beautiful range bilingual posters, the artwork is fun and educational. The colourful designs attract the attention of kids of any age.

 

We  strongly believe exposure to a second language, at a young age is the easiest way for children to learn. By associating letters and words across different languages, the process of learning becomes simpler. With the repetition of ‘I Say, We Say…’ child and parent can create an enjoyable routine and together practice new words in multiple languages.

 

Our next project is to create a complementary range of posters, focusing on numbers, feelings, the weather, body parts etc.

 Want to find more about this product? Check out thenyoucamealong.com

 

Language learning is a Superpower

We have been going to the Language show since 2013. Our whole family have been coming with us for the last  three years. Taking our kids to language show proved a real eyeopener this year. Jasmin is now 10 and Emily 8. They have finally realised Language learning is a Superpower.

Here are their thoughts on the day.

 

Jasmin

I liked language show because I did not know that I know Mandarin so I was surprised.

I also liked the Chinese singing and dancing because they had amazing costumes.

I liked the language taster session for Icelandic which was quite hard to understand.

I liked the food stalls as they provided food from many different countries.

 

Emily

I enjoyed the Chinese dancers with their magnificent costumes.

I liked the Spanish for babies stall because they had the most delicious sweets.

I tried a Mandarin learning game for secondary school age and I found it pretty easy.

I went to an Icelandic taster class to learn Icelandic. I learned the word velkomin which means welcome.

I asked my dad to buy me some Assimemor cards “Corps et Vetiments” en Francais.

I choose this as I already know my colours and numbers in French.

 

The girls were happy and confident to try other languages this time they said” Arigatō” to the Japanese stall holder and “Gracias” to the Spanish man who gave them some sweets, “xie xie” to the Mandarin lady who gave them a book mark and “danke” to the lady on the Goethe Institute stand who gave them a sweet. As a parent I was overjoyed to witness this. They have often battled us about using languages other than English as home. They saw a stand about some online language learning games, Language Magician and were keen to try them out. The game was a mix of vocabulary and grammar in German. They enjoyed a lot and are keenly waiting for the full version to be released next year. Emily played with the u talk app and decided she wanted to learn Arabic! That’s my girl!

The girls were keen to visit the Speak like a native stand. A lady taught some simple Spanish to them whilst we chatted to the others on the stand. They simply played connect four together in Spanish and my girls picked up some Spanish.

As we passed a translation stand, the girls were chatting about the languages they could translate to and from. They them started to think about careers that languages would open for then. I think at 8 and ten to be thinking about that is so encouraging.

As we passed the Army Careers stand Emily aged 8 asked us “Why do the army need languages?”

We approached them to ask the question, they explained that the army serve all over the world and so need lots of languages, what they are really looking for are people, who are able to learn languages rather than able to speak them now.  As a mum I was so proud as this was exactly what we have done with our own kids they are bilingual German and English but as regularly exposed to different languages and encouraged to have a go speaking them.

My youngest Em enjoyed learning Mandarin in a taster class and joined in with the adults. After the class she looked down the list to see which language she could learn next!! I love her attitude to languages.

 

The highlight of the day for the girls was the bcc mandarin stand. The ladies on the stand started to demonstrate the mandarin learning game they have developed for secondary school age. My ten year old quickly picked it up and was correctly identifying mandarin characters. The ladies who had developed the programme were blown away by how quickly and easily they were learning Mandarin. My Jasmin came away speaking to us of how she was going to study GCSE Mandarin at school. We now need to investigate how we can make this possible for her. We came away with the amazing character cards developed by  teaching characters in a pictoral format , as well as a simple description to aid memorisation. We’ll be writing a full review on this soon.

 

As parents of children learning languages at home it is sometime surprising to see how this is progressing for them. Often it is only in a different setting they use the skills they have and show you how much they actually know. I was most excited to see their current attitude to languages as we have had a few years of them only wanting to use English and not be seen as different.

 

I would love to hear about your family’s language learning journey either let  us know in the comments bellow or get in touch and we can feature your story on the blog.

 

Language show silliness

This weekend we went along to language show and  had a lot of fun and silliness.

It is a highpoint in our calendar, a chance to see what is happening in the world of languages and to meet some friends we’ve been chatting to and working with online.

We met some really inspiring people this year with amazing stories behind their products. We also bumped into a few well known language bloggers and podcasters. We took some silly selfies (because that is a fun thing to do right?)

As we arrived,we were stopped by the lovely Madelena from The Alma collective.
We’d been chatting about collaboration for few weeks but had no idea we’d both be at the Language Show. She is a native German and Greek speaker so we had a lot of fun switching languages in our conversation together. Her passion with The Alma Collective is to inspire and empower parents to raise multilingual children. We look forward to working together in the future.

The first stall we visited was Glynys and her baby Spanish CD’s. Like us she is all about starting languages as early as possible and learning with the help of songs and music. She felt there was a gap in the market here so introduced her product. We’ll be reviewing it very soon.

 

 

 

On a French book stand, Librarie la page.
We came across some awesome trilingual chilidren’s picture books, produced by Vincent from
Jarvin Crew The books are in French, English and Spanish. They were produced as all three languages are spoken in his household. It means that many family members are able to read the same story to the children.

I

I was so excited to discover BCC Mandarin. They produce some beautiful cards to learn to read Mandarin Characters by playing. They are beautifully illustrated and suggest a simple story to memorise the shape of the character. I have studied basic Mandarin a little but was far to nervous to try anything other than pin yin. These cards make reading characters accessible. They are such a brilliant idea.

The British council had some brilliant resources for bringing Polish and Mandarin into the classroom. A great way to learn together and integrate cultures.

 

 

 

 

We had a look at the Lingotot stand. I figure anyone who is passionate about teaching children languages is a friend of mine. The weirdest thing happened. When giving the lady on the stand my business card, she commented “That is my name!” How odd is that. We’d both kept our maiden names when we married our, non British husbands. We’ll be sharing Sarah’s language learning story in a the next few months.

At the ALL stand we met the lovely Victoria who had invited us to contribute to the magazine last Month. She told us a little of what ALL does to support Primary Languages. Find out more for yourself here.

We met some inspiring teacher’s whose classroom experience has led them to create something for all teachers to benefit….. Bili setting up free online language exchange and ALL-IN Octopus with their grammar teaching software. https://school.all-in.org.uk/

We were really happy to meet Gareth from How to Get Fluent and Kris from Actual Fluency, fellow language obsessives and bloggers.

We ended the very busy day learning some Esperanto with the inspirational Tim Morley. It was such fun!

 

So, as you can see we had a brilliant time and met some awesome people. Many will be features on our blog in the near future. The next day our girls came along. It was a real eyeopener for us keep an eye out for that blog!

Inspirational mum and bilingual author Claire.

This month’s inspirational mum is Claire, bilingual author of some lovely children’s picture books.

My name is Claire Gray-Simon and I have been a French Teacher since we moved to Edinburgh with my husband Phil in 2001. Before that, I was living in Paris, France where I grew up.
We have two sons: Ben and Thom both born in Scotland. I speak French to them and my husband English. My husband and I speak French between us, my husband being himself bilingual (born of a French mother and an English father and raised in England).

When my sons were around 2 and 4 years old, we moved to NYC. There, we met many bilingual families with children around the same age as mine. I remember watching my oldest son Ben especially play and interact with his friends and I was fascinated by their unique way of communicating at the time. They would speak in English and then suddenly for no apparent reason, would switch to French, or sometimes they could start a sentence in English and finish it in French, or the other way round, they could even say the same thing in both languages to make sure they were perfectly understood. They were playing with the languages, it was something instinctive for them.

My idea to create two fictive bilingual characters came up during this period. I knew straight away I wanted to write stories about a little boy and a little girl both bilingual (English and French) approximately the same age my son and his friends were at the time. These characters would become truly good friends and have fun together. The specific ideas for the stories came afterwards.

Originally, the stories were intended to be published on a website. I always had the idea of a series in mind. I also had this clear vision of a different type of bilingual story. I wanted to write mainly in one language and translate the dialogue between the two main characters in the second language in order to reflect their bilingualism.

At first, I wrote the stories in French and translated the dialogues in English. Then, I adapted, or I should say I translated the stories in English with French as the second language. I therefore had two versions of these stories on my former website; The French version with an introduction to the English language and the English version with an introduction to the French language.

When I received interesting feedback on the website and I was told my stories had potential and should be published on printed paper, I decided to rewrite the first two in English (with dialogues translated in French). Why English first and not French? Well, this decision was easy to make, I was confident enough in my English written skills, we had always been living in an English spoken country since the children were born. It was definitely a no-brainer, I thought it was more relevant to reach an audience of Anglophone children and try to make them interested in finding out more about the French language. Rowanvale Books, a Publisher in Cardiff strongly encouraged me and worked with me to release the books.

My age group target is probably children from 5 to 8 years old, but these books can appeal to a wider audience: they can be read-aloud for younger children and can be a more challenging read for older children interested in learning French and improving their French written skills. Even adults studying French at a beginner level told me they were interested in my books!

These books are not French textbooks though, younger readers, if they wish, could easily ignore the French language put in brackets and still enjoy the stories. However, these young readers could also be seduced by the discovery of a different language, consider the other language as a secret code for example, they could even use their creative imagination to invent games to play with their friends, based on this code. I never wanted to be too ‘pushy’ in the learning of French, my intention has always been to offer a gentle and fun approach.

The first purpose of the books remains to entertain children and then to encourage them to learn something they might never have heard of for some, or to practice their French skills for others.
I’ve joined a little lexicon at the end of each book with a selection of words related to the main theme of the stories.

The books are called; ‘The First Day’ and ‘The Birthday Party’. They belong to the series; ‘The Adventures of Justine and Sebastien, the Bilingual Children’

Claire kindly sent both books for us to review. Emily’s review will be up in the next few days.

If you want to get hold of a copy, they are available here:
‘The First Day’

‘The Birthday Party’

To pre-order both books at once and only pay one postage, here are the links;

UK postage

International postage

Watch out for our review of these books, coming up very soon.

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